by Russell Rowland

The lilac, the hyacinth, present their offerings;
dogwood and apple-blossom place a sacrifice
of thanksgiving upon the topsoil tabernacle.
Dues paid, they can live out the dispensation
unassumingly verdant, with little left to prove,
justified by sunlight and breezes under heaven.
We twelve tribes leave the winter Ark; ascend
to spring’s un-continuous city. The fatted calf,
perfect lamb, twin pigeons, make things right.
Master, see such lavish benevolences, largesse
of a privilege to which they are mere pittance.
He replies: you see them, do you? Consider
two fragile violets underfoot, in their poverty
spending themselves. Greater joy in heaven!
For them the fig will bear fruit out of season.

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